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Volkswagen is Still Considering a Roadster

After Volkswagen unveiled the BlueSport Concept at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show, the possibility of getting a production version has been up and down more than a roller coaster.

In fact, last year at the Paris Auto Show Volkswagen confirmed for the last time that the BlueSport will not happen.

Just today, a Volkswagen official – design chief Walter de Silva to be more exact – in an interview with German magazine Auto Motor Und Sport has stated that "this is a vehicle that we particularly like, and we always had in mind."

de Silva also said in the interview that he is not the only one in the company that thinks a small roadster wouldn’t be a bad decision for VW and that several employees are pushing to put it into production.

While we are not very sure this is an official confirmation of a production version, we are pretty sure a new round of speculations is about to begin.

Click past the jump to read more about the BlueSport Concept.

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Volkswagen Confirms in Paris that the Bluesport will not Happen, Yet

Well, we guess not only good things can come out of car shows, as we often find out our fair share of bad news. The latest out of Volkswagen is a killer though. A model that we have been speculating on and that has been turned on and off more than a public restroom hand dryer is finally confirmed as D.O.A., for now. Sadly enough, this highly anticipated model is the Bluesport roadster.

The last we heard of the Bluesport was when Ulrich Hackenberg, VW’s head of R&D, told EVO that the Bluesport project was alive and well, despite rumors of its demise. He even went as far as to place a roughly £30,000 price tag on it.

After an interview with Autocar at the Paris Motor Show, Hackenberg said that there is “no business case” and “we didn’t find a market for it” in reference to the Bluesport, tossing a bucket of ice on all of our hopes in the process. In the same breath, however, Hackenberg also made it clear that this isn’t the end of the Bluesport, but rather just a suspension until the market shakes loose.

The reasoning Hackenberg gives for suspending it is to avoid the death blow, which is an outright rejection of the project by upper management. He made it clear that if a market open up for the Bluesport in VW’s lineup it will be quick and easy to install it and get things rolling.

So for now we just have to accept the fact that Vee-Dub will continue on without its sporty roadster for the foreseeable future. As always, we’ll keep a close eye on this one, as Volkswagen is a tricky lot sometimes and could pull a complete 180.

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Volkswagen Bluesport is still on track despite rumors

Volkswagen Bluesport is still on track despite rumors

A few days ago, it was rumored that the Volkswagen Bluesport had been dropped because the company couldn’t find enough sales to justify investing in the model. But, according to British magazine Evo, this simply isn’t true because the Bluesport is still on track.

In a recent interview with EVO, Volkswagen’s engineering boss, Uli Hackenberg, stated that the Bluesport project is still very much alive: "dealers are always looking backwards, not forwards… this is particularly the case when a new model is being considered as they don’t have any reference point to guide them, so they look around at the current market and give an estimate based on that."

Uli elaborated by stating that a production version will arrive in the next three years and will carry a price tag of about £30,000 (about $47k at the current exchange rates). Maybe this means we’ll also see the baby Boxster in the near future?

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Domino Effect: Porsche Baby Boxster falls and Volkswagen Bluesport comes tumbling after

Porsche’s decision for putting the baby Boxster on hold because the current generation may not be ready for it may just have started a domino effect for similar proposed vehicles. Volkswagen has just announced that the production version of the mid-engined Blue Sport Concept is also uncertain, stating the same reasons as Porsche: the company can’t find enough sales to justify investing in the model.

This may put a little hiccup in Volkswagen’s plans to increase sales to 800,000 units a year by 2018, but according to Volkswagen of America boss Jonathan Browning, "we don’t need to keep adding to our portfolio of models. We’re concentrating on our core models." Nice sidestep, but this only means that the company failed to find the market needed to sell 50,000 units a year of the production BlueSport.

They’re surely not getting rid of the vehicle, though, especially since engineering for the Blue Sport has been completed: "There is no official release for the project. It’s not a technology problem, but of finding enough customers. I don’t have enough [sales] volume to get the go-ahead," said Volkswagen’s engineering boss, Uli Hackenberg.

So, for now, the production Volkswagen BlueSport has been put on hold, further opening the door Porsche cracked when the Baby Boxster took its fall. We’re guessing Audi’s plans of offering a new sports car slotted under the R8 may get invited to this party, but Audi seemed pretty intent on producing the junior model. Only time will tell.

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BlueSport Concept sees production possibilities in Volkswagen, Porsche, and Audi

BlueSport Concept sees production possibilities in Volkswagen, Porsche, and Audi

Ever since Volkswagen unveiled the BlueSport concept at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show, we’ve heard plenty "to be or not to be" rumors about a possible production version. Now we can finally confirm, without any doubts, that the Volkswagen Group will offer three different versions of this concept. Audi, Porsche, and Volkswagen will each have their own version of the concept with different levels of sportiness and performance, butSkoda and Seat will be left out of the mix.

Starting with Audi, their production version will be inspired by the E-tron Spyder concept and will be offered with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-pot and 2.5-liter five-cylinder units, priced at around $45,000. The Porsche model will take its design cues from the iconic 1953 550 Spyder and will be offered with a twin-turbocharged engine with an output of about 380 HP. It is also believed that the Porsche model will be called the 550 as a tribute to the classic model. Prices will be in the $52K area. The Volkswagen model will, in fact, be the only version taking its design inspiration from the BlueSport concept. It will feature a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine with an output of about 170 HP. This will be the cheapest version with prices starting from around $30K.

The three models will stare the same platform, but their interiors will deliver different levels of luxury by featuring parts - such as instrument panels and dials - that are unique to each model. This type of differentiation was successful with the Q7, the Cayenne, and the Touareg SUVs so Volkswagen is sure to recreate that success with the three roadster models.

More details to come on Volkswagen’s three different production BlueSport Concepts, so stay tuned!

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Volkswagen confirmed BlueSport roadster

Volkswagen confirmed BlueSport roadster

After what seems like forever of the to be or not to be confliction, Volkswagen has finally confirmed the production version of the BlueSport roadster unveiled at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show. Sales will begin in 2013 at a price of around $30k.

The future BlueSport will feature the same design language as the current Golf and Scirocco, translated into a sleek headlights, a narrow, horizontal grille and LED daytime running lamps. The interior will be similar to the one found on the Scirocco.

It will be a mid-engine sports car featuring a choice of: 178bhp 2.0-liter diesel, a turbo and supercharged 1.4 TFSI engine and a 2.0-liter turbo unit. The engines will be coupled to a standard six-speed manual gearbox or a dual-clutch DSG as an option. The sprint from 0 to 60 mph is expected to be made in around 6 seconds. The 2013 Bluesport will come with an ultra-light aluminium chassis, plus a manually operated canvas folding roof.

There are also rumors about a hybrid version.

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Fighting within the VW Group over small sports cars

Fighting within the VW Group over small sports cars

Like a family fighting about where to go on vacation, the Volkswagen Group are having a little internal conflict of their own. This situation could endanger the future of the Porsche 356, the Audi R5, and the VW BlueSport.

The VW BlueSport was shown at the 2009 Detroit auto show and it got such good press that it was close to production. Yet, because of the infighting, the vehicle is on hold.

So, what’s going on? Well, Porsche doesn’t want the next-generation Boxster to lose sales because of the cheaper 356. Audi, who is having issues withR8 demand, doesn’t want a third sports car to be put between the new Audi TT and their supercar. While VW really likes the idea of the BlueSport, they are currently occupied with other areas, such as the next-generation Golf.

"Sports cars are not at the top of our priority list," states chairman Martin Winterkorn. "This applies in particular to sports cars that require the collaboration of Porsche, which is not even part of the VW Group yet."

Hit the jump for the rest of the story.

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Volkswagen BlueSport closer to production?

Volkswagen BlueSport closer to production?

At last week’s Los Angeles Auto Show, Volkswagen of America CEO Stefan Jacoby opened up a bit about the German automaker’s future plans here in the U.S. The people’s car builder intends to bring a lot more Americans into the Volkswagen Family by drastically increasing annual sales from the 220,000 VWs that are sold today to 800,000 units by the year 2018, and in order to do so they plan on coming out with a few new models that they hope will take hold here in the U.S.

We have shown you renderings of the future NMS (New Mid-Size Sedan), a Passat replacing four door that is set to debut at the 2011 North American Auto Show in Detroit. However until we can see a production version of that one, we can expect to see a smaller, Mexican built NCS (New Compact sedan) that will take over the role of the current Jetta and will debut in June 2010. And now the good stuff, Volkswagen might offer a new two door notchback targeted specifically at the U.S. market and is likely to measure over 180 inches in length. Mr. Jacoby only heightened our hopes by saying that considering the public’s reaction to the unveiling of the BlueSport Concept, that there is a strong possibility of a production version. This only adds fuel to the future 914 fire.

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Volkswagen plans to build the BlueSport at former Karmann facility

Volkswagen plans to build the BlueSport at former Karmann facility

The German automaker Volkswagen has a long history with the independent motor vehicle manufacturing firm Karmann, most notably the classic VW Karmann Ghia that was styled by the Carrozzeria Ghia and constructed by the coach builder Karmann. More recently the Volkswagen Group announced that they have acquired the land, machinery and equipment at the Osnabrück site that formerly belonged to the Karmann holding company. The best part about the acquisition is that VW is planning on setting up a new manufacturing subsidiary and eventually break ground on a new project.

Production at the Osnabrück facility isn’t scheduled to begin until 2011, however current projections detail the creation of over 1,000 jobs by the year 2014. There has been no mention of whether VW will keep the Karmann staff on for the new project, however it would be foolish to let all of those experienced automotive craftsmen go due to their extensive experience building limited edition vehicles. One of the models that will be built at the Osnabrück site is the Volkswagen BlueSport diesel roadster as well as a drop top Cabrio version of the next generation Golf VI. It’s always nice to see old friends getting back together.

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Video: Fifth Gear drives the BlueSport Concept

In their latest Web-TV episode, Fifth Gear’s Vicky Henderson has a go in the coolest Volkswagen concept ever: the diesel burning Concept BlueSport that was revealed earlier this year at the Detroit Auto Show and harks at a return of the lightweight Porsche 914 with its mid engine and open top configuration.

The Concept BlueSport is powered by a 177 HP 2.0 Liter Clean Diesel TDI power plant mounted behind the driver and fed by a high pressure common rail injection system. Volkswagen says that the fun to drive roadster will be able to go from 0 to 60 MPH in around 6.6 seconds and reach a top speed of 140 MPH.

As a bonus, the Fifth Gear squad also talks a little bit about the new Ferrari 458 Italia, the all new Jaguar XJ, the Porsche Panamera Turbo becomes the fastest four door around the Nurburgring and then head out to a proper Pagent of Power.

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Volkswagen BlueSport Concept - new image gallery

Volkswagen BlueSport Concept - new image gallery

If there was ever a story of a sports car with an uncertain future, the Volkswagen Blue Sport Roadster is it. Ever since the creation of the concept
, there has been speculations as to whether Porsche will make another 914 or what would and Audi version look like. Even Volkswagen has put the eco friendly sports car on the back burner due to the unstable economic climate and deficiency of new car buyers.

Anyhow, until the German automaker makes up their minds, they will continue to tease us with a few more images of the Blue Sport. The alternatively fueled vehicle is powered by a 2.0 Liter Clean Diesel (TDI) engine with common rail injection making 177 HP mounted in the midship position. Volkswagen claims that the roadster will go from 0 to 60 MPH in just 6.6 seconds and reach a top speed of 140 MPH, all while returning a very hybrid-like 55 MPG.

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Volkswagen BlueSport Roadster production version to be priced at $30K

Volkswagen BlueSport Roadster production version to be priced at $30K

Ever since the People’s builder unveiled the BlueSport Roadster as a concept back at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the German automaker has been teasing the car buying public with a “will they or won’t they” saga about the future production car. The next chapter in the story has just been written, previous speculations have claimed that the production version has been put on hold due to the current global economic situation, but now it is time to put the diesel powered roadster back on track.

According to AutoWeek, "the compact mid-engine roadster has an internal development code name," this means that it is very likely that the VW will become the modern day successor of Porsche’s 914. The concept is powered by a 2.0 Liter, common-rail, four cylinder engine puts out 168 HP, but the production version will receive the hot rod 265 HP, turbocharged, direct-injection power plant form the Scirocco R.

When the production car finally does hit the streets, Volkswagen will have wrapped up a lot of fun into $30,000 package. The BlueSport will weigh in at only 2,600 pounds and because of the light weight chassis will be able to sprint from 0 to 60 MPH in a rather quick 6.6 seconds and have a top speed of 140 MPH.

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Volkswagen Bluesport production on hold

Volkswagen Bluesport production on hold

Bad news for Volkswagen Bluesport and future Porsche 914 fans, even though it should come at no surprise, it is still a let down. Ever since Porsche announced that there will be no new entry level offering in the line-up, Volkswagen has also announced that due to the current economic situation, their open air, diesel burning BlueSport model has been put on hold.

Volkswagen did not shut the door on the concept, saying that there is still a chance for a production model, but only after the world goes back to buying cars. So, for Volkswagen fans the good news is that the German automaker will eventually offer a roadster. The only question is when?

The VW BlueSport Concept is powered by a mid-mounted 2.0 Liter TDI with common rail injection engine making an adequate 177 HP. VW says that the clean diesel convertible can go from 0 to 60 MPH in just 6.6 seconds and has a top speed of 140 MPH, all while returning 55 MPG. Now that sounds like fun, both behind the wheel and at the pump.

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Audi and Porsche possibly working on their own VW BlueSport model

Audi and Porsche possibly working on their own VW BlueSport model

Audi and Porsche possibly getting a version of Volkswagen’s BlueSport concept, no really?! After all it isn’t like we’ve been reporting on this for the last six months that VW and Audi were working together on a roadster or that Porsche may slap a badge on the project as well.

So if this is not news, why are we reporting it? Two reasons: the news is more official and is sounding a little more desperate. Both points were made from one quote the Automotive News obtained from a Volkswagen representative. “To make a strong business case for the new roadster, we need to share the investment with at least three brands.”

It seems that as much as VW wants its little roadster, economic conditions have the final decision. Last week we reported the production version of the BlueSport would appear by 2012, but it also doesn’t share all of its parts already with other VW family cars. Audi and Porsche are the only real ways to go. The roadster could never be exotic enough for Lamborghini or Bugatti and the €30,000 expected price (currently about $40,000) is too expensive for the Skoda and Seat lineups.

If a final decision is made we could expect it as soon as the Geneva Motor Show in March.

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Volkswagen BlueSport concept into production in 2012

Surprise, Surprise! The Detroit Auto Show is still going on, and Volkswagen already has rumors swirling around about the production possibilities BlueSport concept. This shouldn’t be a shock to that many people because VW has spent the last year hinting about the mid-engined car that would also be used as a replacement for the Audi TT and possibly a Porsche.

So we know Volkswagen is planning a mid-engine platform for its line-up, the only real question now is when? According to Autocar, the debut year will be 2012. The biggest delay is that not all of the elements of the roadster are available yet. Volkswagen gets the most out of its parts (that’s why the upper class Audi TT is on the same platform as the budget Skoda Octavia,) and the planned elements of the BlueSport will not be in production until 2012.

The BlueSport roadster is powered by a mid-mounted 177 hp 2.0-liter Clean Diesel (TDI) with common rail injection engine. VW says that it can make the 0 to 60 mph sprint in 6.6 seconds and tops out at 140 mph, all while getting 55 mpg. The engine is mated to a a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox mounted closer to the front of the car, which gives it a 45:55 front-to-rear weight distribution. By the time 2012 comes around, the BlueSport may have a new name and a few more engine choices from the VW parts bin.

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2009 Volkswagen Concept BlueSport

2009 Volkswagen Concept BlueSport

We did know that Volkswagen was going to unveil its new roadster in Detroit, but we didn’t know it would show up as a diesel.

The Concept BlueSport is powered by a mid-mounted 177 hp 2.0-liter Clean Diesel (TDI) with common rail injection engine. VW says that it can make the 0 to 60 mph sprint in 6.6 seconds and tops out at 140 mph, all while getting 55 mpg. The engine is mated to a a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox mounted closer to the front of the car, which gives it a 45:55 front-to-rear weight distribution.

The concept is has some fun stuff like bi-xenon LED headlights outside and a touch screen command center inside. This all comes in a package that weights only 2645 lbs.

While everything about this car seems attractive except for possible the oil-burner engine, remember this is just a concept. When the production car shows up we expect it to keep the good points such as the mid-engine layout, almost even weight distribution, and lightweight design. We also expect to see some gasoline engines from the VW parts bin available on the production roadster.

Press release after the jump.

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